Our American society has come a long way in recognizing the fact that men and woman are equal. However, we still have to deal with the prejudices against women that still exist in our society.
I am going to suggest that many men (and a few women) still do not believe that men and women are equal in the sight of God and in our society.
Only 40 percent of Americans say that society generally treats men and women equally. Attitudes have changed considerably in this regard over the past 20 years. Even so, a sizable minority of adults (45%) still say that society favors men over women, down from 62% in 1993.
Often high society social clubs where white men meet for recreation and informal business transactions are off limits for females. That is one reason we have such a low percentage of women in executive positions and in the boardrooms of the biggest companies. Why are women paid less than their male counterparts in all the labor divisions for the same work they do?
Women hold only 4.2% of Fortune 500 CEO positions and 4.5% of Fortune 1000 CEO positions.
When it comes to politics, women hold 18% of the seats in the U.S. Congress and 23% of statewide elected executive offices. There is something radically wrong with this picture.
Why is there so much domestic violence against women in our society? This is between people who are supposed to love each another. Too often civil authorities treat the women who are sex trafficking victims like criminals and not like victims. Let’s face it, the real criminals are those who perpetuate this heinous crime – the traffickers and those who purchase sex.
Unfortunately, resources for victim recovery are scarce, and awareness of the issue has been low within government, law, and local communities. Without proper support for victims and a shift in culpability to the traffickers and “pimps,” this crime will continue to grow.
Female students are raped in appalling numbers, and their rapists almost invariably go free. The Department of Justice in 2007 found that about one in 10 undergraduate women had been raped at college.
Most of the perpetrators on campus and in society are hardly ever arrested and the conviction rates are very low.
Because of the fear that they won’t be believed, only about 5 percent of college women who are raped report the assault to the police. Nationwide, the Department of Justice states that about 35 percent of rapes and sexual assaults were reported to the police in 2013. That’s still low, but it’s better than the 5 percent reported by college women.
Research suggests that more than 90 percent of campus rapes are committed by a relatively small percentage of college men – possibly as few as 4 percent – who rape repeatedly, averaging six victims each. Yet these serial rapists overwhelmingly remain at large, escaping serious punishment.
Promoting equal opportunities for women and men should be a major priority for those who follow Christ’s lead of treating men and women with equal respect and dignity. Christians believe that both men and women were made after the Divine image and likeness and that both men and women reflect God’s intellect and will.
Restrictive attitudes toward gender roles can lead to a denial of the basic human right of equality. Stereotyped gender roles can prevent human development and social justice. We must challenge any system and structure that perpetuate any inequality or gender stereotyping.
Created in the image of a loving God and equally endowed with a rational spirit, all people have the same nature and the same origin. Redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ, we are all called to participate in the same divine blessings and enjoy equal dignity.
Posted on Fri, March 6, 2015
by Rev. Wilmer L. Todd